Unseasonably warm weather, full moons, abundant feed… combined these make the perfect recipe for turning normally respectable puddle ducks into the nosferatu of waterfowl… Vampire Ducks!
We’ve all been there, you find a feed with lots of birds but they aren’t showing up until after shooting hours have ended. Frustrating! All is not lost however, you can still get on those birds, here’s how we do it.
Follow them Home - get to the feed at first light, I’m talking as soon as you can see. The birds will be getting up shortly and you’ll be able to follow them back to whatever roost or loafing area they are using. In open country like the West, binoculars are your best friend for doing this from long range and quite often finding out of the way places you’d otherwise not know about.
After you’ve determined where the birds are spending their daylight hours it’s as simple as uncovering access. onX Hunt is the best tool we’ve found for doing this. Whether on our desktops or our mobile devices, onX Hunt makes next level scouting easy. We can often pinpoint the exact location the birds have spiraled into without having to get super close and risk blowing them out before we get a chance to hunt them. Obviously, if the ground is private onX will show you ownership and then the game of getting permission begins but that’s just part of waterfowling in our modern world (don’t forget your etiquette).
Now it’s time to slip in before light, get set up and be ready when those birds come back to put away for the day. Because this is a roost style shoot, being careful not to burn it out by shooting it more than a couple times per week, not shooting into big groups, and getting in and out quickly and quietly are keys to keeping the spot productive for as long as possible. Another option is to take a large group of good shooters into the spot and burn em up one time, knowing that it’ll be a one and done scenario. Personally, I prefer the stealthier option of getting in and out quickly but there are times when a full out assault is the only choice.
However you play it, Vampire Ducks don’t have to put a stake through the heart of your season. They can be killed and honestly, hunting them can be the most fun shooting of the entire year. Just remember, scout from a distance, use onX Hunt, and be stealthy whenever possible and you’ll come out with heavy straps every time.